BBQ Propane Pressure Gauges Under Scrutiny

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Creative Electronic Products Inc.(CEP), the suppliers of the Propane GasGenie, suggested to Inside Tailgating magazine that they investigate how well pressure gauges really work. And the outcome is not encouraging.

Pressure Gauge

'The pressure of the gas isn't an accurate measure of the amount of liquid propane left' Inside TailGating

Running out of propane while grilling is one of the most annoying features of having a BBQ. It is something that most of the more than 40 million US families that BBQ using propane have suffered from at some point. CEP were well aware of the problem having been alerted to it some time ago by America's largest grill supplier. As a result of this tip off they invented the Propane GasGenie which works on a different principle.

Many people look for a solution that will warn them in sufficient time before the gas runs out. And the simplest seeming solution is the popular choice: This is the pressure gauge as sold by many different manufacturers. To most people it is obvious that the more gas that is in that tank the higher the pressure will be. Unfortunately this belief turns out to be not true.

Peter Frank from CEP says 'We have known for some time that the pressure in BBQ tank does not vary with the amount of gas there. It is a well known fact amongst physicists and also in the propane trade. But away from these special areas of expertise not many other people understand this.'

So CEP approached Inside Tailgating and suggested they carry out an independent investigation. The results are just now published in the Fall edition of the magazine. And one of the sentences reads 'The pressure of the gas isn't an accurate measure of the amount of liquid propane left'. The article can be seen online by visiting Inside Tailgating and reading page 17.

The problem turns out to be one common to all liquefied gases. Namely that the pressure only varies with the temperature of the liquid, not with its volume. So whether the tank is full or nearly empty, at a given temperature the pressure will show the same. It is only when all the liquid has gone that the pressure will behave as most people would believe. And it then drops very quickly leaving the user with an empty tank before they know it.

This problem with the BBQ pressure gauge was mentioned to CEP's parent Company and after considerable research and development they produced the Propane GasGenie, which is now on sale on Amazon and through some retailers. It works using another well known principle of liquefied gases: That they get colder as the gas bubbles off. The Propane GasGenie monitors the tank wall temperature at two different levels and searches for a pattern of cooling that indicates that the gas is indeed getting low. It then plays a little tune and flashes its LEDs. It starts to alarm when the liquid level is around 20% capacity. This means there is plenty of time to finish grilling and not run the risk of a BBQ disaster.

Peter Frank again 'There are several ways to determine when the tank is getting low. But pressure is definitely not one of them'.

About Creative Electronic Products Inc.
CEP was founded in 1983 to search worldwide for unique and useful products to bring to the US market. The Propane GasGenie is their first product. It is sold on Amazon and also to retailers and manufacturers reps throughout the US.

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